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Fall 2021

5221 International Commercial Arbitration - DIMITROFF/RUSSELL- 16943

Professor(s): Sashe Dimitroff (ADJUNCT)
William Russell (ADJUNCT)

Credits: 2

Course Areas: International Law 
Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Time: 5:30p-7:30p  TH  Location: 3  BLB

Course Outline: Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest. For international commercial transactions, international arbitration is the worst form of dispute resolution, except for all the rest. Supported by an international treaty signed by more than 140 nations, international arbitration has become the prevailing method of resolving international commercial disputes. And international transactions have become increasingly common in the global economy,the daily volume of international trade today across national borders exceeds the total volume of international trade through the end of the nineteenth century!

This is a comprehensive course covering all stages of the international arbitral process, from the drafting of the arbitration clause to the enforcement of the arbitral award. It should be of value both to students who plan to develop a transactional practice as well as those planning to become trial lawyers.

This will be a highly interactive course. In addition to relevant written material, the course will also feature videotaped scenes from mock arbitrations that the Institute for Transnational Arbitration generated at its Annual Arbitration Workshops. Consisting of mock scenarios, and performed by some of the world's leading international arbitrators and counsel, the videotapes vividly demonstrate the major phases of an international arbitration. Students will be assigned roles as counsel and as arbitrators and will either argue (in the case of counsel) or deliberate (in the case of arbitrators) various issues presented in the hypothetical scenarios.

The course will begin with preliminary considerations bearing on the selection of the international arbitral process. The course will then address the five stages of the international arbitral process:

Stage I. The making and enforcement of the arbitration agreement.

Stage II. The selection and appointment of the arbitral tribunal.

Stage III. Preliminary proceedings, including procedural orders and interim relief.

Stage IV. The evidentiary hearing on the merits.

Stage V. The making and enforcement of the arbitral award.

Ben H. Sheppard, Jr. is a Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center. Prior to his retirement, he was a partner at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. in Houston, where he practiced from 1969-2005, and was co-chair of the firm's international dispute resolution practice.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes:   Whether this course will be distance education, or will have a physical room assigned, and if so the extent to which the instructor might use the room during the semester, is not determined at the time when registration initially opens for this course.  You may see contrary indications in the UH systems where you actually register for the course.  In other words, this course might be distance education with no use of a physical classroom. It might be the “HyFlex” mode in which some Law Center courses used a physical room during 2020-21. As we get closer to the start of the term/semester for this course, this course note will be updated as decisions are determined. The instructors will be involved in those decisions, but decisions about modalities may not be invariant throughout the term/semester or between now and when the course starts.



First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule: 12/09 6pm-8pm  3 BLB    

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA:

Pass-Fail Student Election: Available

Course Materials

Special Case

Course Materials: No book is required; however, course materials will be emailed to students prior to the start of semester.